Two Teenaged Girls Escape Human Trafficking in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area
Sheriff’s office says teen girl being sex trafficked at Fort Worth motel has been rescued
A 16-year-old runaway has been found and rescued from a sex trafficker operating out of Fort Worth, according to a news release from the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office. Brandon Williams, 40, has been arrested and faces a charge of trafficking a child, according to Tarrant County Jail records. He is being held on $100,000 bond. The sheriff’s office said investigators with the Tarrant County Human Trafficking Task Force were notified about online sex ads related to the 16-year-old recent runaway and learned while investigating the ads that they were coming from a motel in west Fort Worth. Members of the task force, posing as decoys, reached out through the advertisements to gain access to the teen and went to the motel, according to the release. After seeing a man leave the motel room, undercover deputies entered and found the teen, recognizing her as the subject of the commercial sex advertisements. The sheriff’s office said the teen was rescued and Williams was arrested. Mansfield police assisted with the investigation." (Reference: Fort Worth Star Telegram )
17 Year Old Escapes Human Trafficker at Shops at Legacy
PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The horror of human sex trafficking and its grip on North Texas has never been captured more disturbingly than on a video from a Plano business.
It comes from the trial of convicted trafficker who has just been sentenced to 59 years in prison.
It was in the middle of Plano's Shops at Legacy where a 17-year-old girl escaped a violent human trafficker she had been with for a year.
If not for observant witnesses watching nearby, authorities tell me it's likely the victim would still be in his clutches.
It's security camera video of two people talking outside a nail salon in Plano's Shops at Legacy.
You probably wouldn't pay much attention to them, until the male stomps hard on the female's foot.
It's followed by a violent punch that knocks her to the ground.
"I feel sick to my stomach for all us who have daughters it's just the most unthinkable situation you can imagine," Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis said.
Willis said you're watching the brutal violence associated with human trafficking play out in public.
A passerby notices the man dragging the 17-year-old girl by her hair to the car, throw her into the open passenger side door and close it.
She quickly opens it and escapes.
By that time, several witnesses were ready to intervene and the man speeds off by himself.
"I'm so proud of those citizens that were there and didn't run away and didn't turn a blind eye," Willis said.
The suspect, 29-year-old Ricky Stevenson, was later captured and sentenced last week to 59 years in prison. Collin County Assistant District Attorney Ann Matthews prosecuted the case against Stephenson during the two day jury trial.
Willis says that's a message to traffickers like this one who flaunt being a pimp on social media, force their victims to get loyalty tattoos, as well as threaten them if they try to leave.
"He thought that he could manipulate the legal system here in Collin County by ensuring that the victim did not show up he thought if the victim didn't show up he would be free," Willis said.
The victim was only 16-years-old when she was kidnapped and forced into prostitution along with two other females.
This Collin County case is the first known anywhere involving a trafficker who was convicted with only testimony from witnesses and no cooperation from the victim.
"When you're asked to testify, you are basically opening yourself up to being re-traumatized, re-victimized," Chelsea Robertson with POETIC, a nonprofit that offers schooling and resources for sex trafficking victims said.
Robertson said they often refuse to testify against their abusers.
That's why she says it's so important for witnesses to come forward and help build strong criminal cases like this one.
"Anytime that you see a youth especially, intervening would always be the correct action to take," Robertson said. "You've heard it said before, if you see something say something."
The victim has moved out of state and is no longer in contact with authorities.
Reference (CBS News )
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